A ballot initiative in Oregon would treat marijuana like alcohol if the legalization measure passes next month, according to the Oregonian
Proponents of Measure 80, which would regulate the production, sale, and taxation of marijuana, include former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
"We're wasting so much time and so much energy, and so many people's lives, with our current policy," he said, referring to costly efforts to control and prosecute the illegal use of the drug."
Oregon, however, has some of the loosest restrictions on marijuana use in the country and some 57,000 residents are certified to use it for medical purposes. Anyone else caught with less than an ounce of the drug is cited for an infraction only, which is equivalent to a speeding ticket. And fewer than one in five of the state’s 14,200 inmates are in prison for any kind of drug-related conviction.
Yet state law enforcement officials remain the biggest opponents of the initiative, according to the Oregonian.
“From a pure policy standpoint, I don't want to introduce yet another intoxicant and open the spigot full blast so everyone can get stoned all the time," said opposition spokesman Josh Marquis, the district attorney for Clatsop County.
"Look at what a dreadful job we've done keeping alcohol from being abused by adults, and worse yet, by kids," he added.
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